BOULDER, Colo. –

IBM plans to lay off about 5,000 workers Thursday, including an unknown number of employees at the north Boulder campus, according to the Wall Street Journal and a union representing IBM workers.

Alliance@IBM, a communications labor organization, posted an “offshoring alert” on its Web site Wednesday that said the locations affected would be Hartford, Conn., and Boulder. About 2,800 people are currently employed at the Boulder site.

The alert did not say how many jobs would be lost at either site, but did say Global Technology Services would be hardest hit. That division is one of the main focuses of the Boulder campus.

The post on the union’s Web site quoted a letter from The Hartford insurance company regarding its business with IBM.

“Starting next week several Hartford delivery teams will be working directly with fellow IBM team members from India. … Please ensure you and your teams actively support this effort,” the letter on the site read.

Representatives from the union did not return a request for comment Wednesday night.

The Wall Street Journal also cited an anonymous source familiar with the situation, saying, “The latest round of cuts target the company’s global business-services unit, which does everything from running corporate data centers to managing human resources for clients like Proctor and Gamble.”

A spokesman for the Boulder IBM campus could not be reached for comment Wednesday afternoon.

IBM has not filed a Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act notice with Colorado’s Department of Labor and Employment, spokesman Bill Thoennes said. The WARN Act requires companies to give states notice of significant layoffs.

IBM is said to be in talks to purchase Sun Microsystems, according to several published reports. Sun has a significant presence in Broomfield County, although that company has also been hit with heavy layoffs.

Archived comments

“Offshoring alert”, right.Gotta love how xenophobia and racism picks up every time the economy turns down.


3/25/2009 6:41:50 PM

Meh, IBM has used large numbers of “contractors” for decades so as not to appear to lay off anyone.Of course, the contractors are the first to go when money gets tight.So, it’s not like IBM hasn’t been doing this all along.

3/25/2009 6:56:05 PM



and most of those contractors are retired Ibmers who draw nice pension and health benefits as well.


3/25/2009 7:05:13 PM

dream on surfey – read the comments along with the article a few days ago to see how wrong you are.

Then add in the Sun layoffs and the new mall to be built in Longmont.


3/25/2009 7:10:13 PM

Flush ’em down the free enterprise toilet.

Because we all know that management bonuses are more important than human lives.


3/25/2009 7:21:19 PM

Don’t worry there is going to be a bunch of jobs picking up garbage along the creek.

They are even throwing in eco passes


3/25/2009 7:21:26 PM

Alliance@IBM is part of the issue.

3/25/2009 8:14:45 PM

Every thing in Boulder is not a “campus”.


3/25/2009 8:52:07 PM

Good.Never trusted those IBMers. Small hands.Smell like cabbage.Live in Gunbarrel.


3/25/2009 9:23:03 PM

Why is Alliance@IBM part of the issue?Working somewhere you hear rumours, or see your fellow employees being escorted out of the building, etc, knowing their jobs are getting outsourced to cheaper labor is the pits.I would prefer to know who is doing what with US jobs and if they are taking a US citizens’ job and giving it to someone in India or Singapore, I want the opportunity to be able to boycott the company.

3/26/2009 7:52:32 AM

It used to be that IBM stood for “I’ve Been Moved” — today, it stands for “I’ve Been Marched-out.”thesurfrider’s right, many of those “contractors” used to be retirees who came back or layoff victims brought in through the back door.Today, contractor numbers are thinner than ever and IBM is on the leading edge of cutting their US workforce in favor of cheap-arsed third-world labor. If it’s a technical role, you can bet it’s not being done here or here are plans to move it out of Boulder.


3/26/2009 8:01:59 AM

Yeah — I got “Bangalored” from IBM too.Nothing against the people of India, but an American company getting American tax breaks and seeking American stimulus dollars should be a little more loyal.

I work at another company now as a VP of Technology and I simply won’t buy any of their stuff or use any of their services.

3/26/2009 8:23:32 AM

I heard it stood for “India – Bangalore or Mumbai” …

3/26/2009 8:27:33 AM

You can remove the word ‘reportedly’ from your story headline now. I work at IBM Boulder and got my layoff call at about 8:00am this morning. I know of two other co-workers who have also been notified, and it’s only 8:35 as I write this.


3/26/2009 8:37:11 AM

Yeah, let’s blame the corporations for offshoring.The real blame lies with consumers who demand cheaper and cheaper goods.

To provide those cheap goods, companies outsource as much as they can, including their IT departments to IBM.Then, to further reduce cost so they can meet consumer demand for even cheaper goods, they beat IBM up over cost.IBM has to cut costs or lose the contract.

How long did you think you could get away with making 6 figures for doing what someone would do for half that?Did you think you had a right to make 6 figures just cuz you’ve been working for 25 years?

The skills you learned 20 years ago were unique then, not so much today.


3/26/2009 8:45:59 AM

Don’t get me wrong.I truly sympathize with anyone who gets “the call”.

But, let’s place the blame where it really lies.


3/26/2009 8:49:30 AM

How many lines of code have you written, backrange?My guess is that you’re not smart enough to write any.

3/26/2009 8:49:38 AM

Alliance@IBM pushed IBM to move jobs overseas because they wanted more money and a union.There was a time for a union years ago now we just need to keep our jobs in the US.This all comes down to the Executives need their pay and bonus and forget about America.

3/26/2009 8:59:52 AM

Siggy has it right.IBM hasn’t lost any contracts and is faring pretty well considering the recession.In fact, they have enough money to buy SUN for 6 BILLION IN CASH, so I don’t buy the “price pressure” argument in this case.

Executives are simply trying to squeeze a few more cents per share out of the bottom line so that they can justify their MILLIONS of dollars in compensation.

IBM execs obviously don’t care about our country.

3/26/2009 9:10:49 AM

didn’t see that coming!


3/26/2009 9:18:48 AM

siggy – yeah, don’t worry about the execs and their bonuses, that’s a blip on the total compensation paid.

How’s that patriotism working out for all those who shop at WalMart, ordrive their foreign built cars?There’s just a little bit of irony in buying foreign made brands and then complaining about losing jobs to offshoring.


3/26/2009 9:32:10 AM

Haha — someone’s not happy …

3/26/2009 9:40:19 AM

“Starting next week several Hartford delivery teams will be working directly with fellow IBM team members from India.” !!

Wake up people! The ‘outsourcing’ of our nation’s jobs has to stop.It probably would come to a screeching halt if we announced the outsourcing of CEO’s to India, etc..

What a shame.


3/26/2009 9:44:50 AM

“team members” … what a bunch of jokers.

3/26/2009 9:47:33 AM

“siggy – yeah, don’t worry about the execs and their bonuses, that’s a blip on the total compensation paid.”

Laugh — yeah — don’t worry about it Siggy.

3/26/2009 9:49:20 AM

Palmisano is involved withObama and his plans for redoing the electric grid.IBM recently purchased Kaiser to digitize medical records, aka Brave New World.

How will you like it when single payer requires an imbedded chip in your arm for membership, or all newborns are given one before leaving the hospital?

Boulder subsidizes big cap IBM.Boycott Boulder.Shop at Cherry Creek or Flatirons Crossing.


3/26/2009 9:59:31 AM

IBM profited $12.3 billion last year, up 18% from the previous year. They can well afford to pay fair salaries to Americans. I find the decision to send jobs overseas nothing short of traitorous.


3/26/2009 10:15:43 AM

Sad the lack of global awareness and economic reality. Keep living in your dream world and hating….


3/26/2009 10:41:00 AM

comcast777 – you hit it right on when you said outsourcing would stop if the CEO’s and higher paid executive’s jobs were sent over seas. And those are the jobs that need to go to India. The US worker has been being sodimized for years. Too bad it took all of this economic garbage to open people’s eyes. The only tool we worker bees have is to speak out. At least they haven’t taken that away from us yet.


3/26/2009 10:41:46 AM

IBM = I Been Minimized


3/26/2009 10:57:17 AM

AlmostNative — I’m very sorry to hear about you and your colleagues.I was there from 2003 to 2008 and in a role which put me in the middle of the cost/numbers game that drove “workforce optimization” decisions and agree with others that the profits IBM reaps is in large part due to efforts like this.I hope you and everyone else are OK in this hideous job market.Xenophobia has nothing to due with our growing ire toward IBM — they have led the charge to ship previously and uniquely-American jobs overseas to teams marginally qualified to do the work in order to realize high double-digit labor savings.IBM costs Americans American jobs.

It used to be that IBM (back in the good old days) took care of its people and treated them like people.Today, the term “resource” replaces “employee” and people are simply looked at as a cost-vs-revenue statement; when they can marginally drop their costs by shipping your work to some schlep in Argentina, you can kiss your job goodbye.Finance, operations, technical support, it’s all fair game — except for executive management and account teams, those guys and gals are somehow safe… maybe we went after the wrong “acronym” company in the media last week.FYI, if you still work there, don’t tell your boss if you’re multilingual — you will wind up leading the conference call to train your replacements.


3/26/2009 11:04:16 AM

This is a sad reality of today’s business climate.I’m a strategist at IBM and am in no way connected with this announcement.But the global business climate that we compete in pins us against large Indian firms such as Satyam, Wipro, etc.Innovation is IBM’s key differentiator and many of the groups impacted were tied to the delivery of commoditized infrastructure services which are hard to charge a premium for.I do actually disagree with SonOfTheGriz — this is not about “uniquely-American jobs”; it’s about being able to profitably operate as a business… and IBM cannot compete in commodity spaces.More broadly speaking, you all buy goods manufactured in China, India, Bangledesh because the US can’t compete in commodity spaces due to our high costs of resources. This is exactly the same situation in the IT business… we as Americans command a premium and job stability comes from delivering uniquely differentiated value that cannot be delivered via commoditized outsourced models.I do empathize and feel badly about the layoffs, but stop blaming IBM and look examine a day in your own life (from the minute you shut off your alarm clock made in Taiwan to the end of your day when you’re eating South American produce) we are participants in a global economy and must acknowledge that this is how societies and businesses are forced to operate.


3/26/2009 11:36:07 AM

Bobmcmobber – I know someone who was layed off at IBM a few months ago who is now working for IBM, on a different project, as a contractor.

It depends on what project a contractor is working on if they are dismissed, not just the fact that they are a contractor.It may not seem fair, but sometimes contractors are retained and employees are layed off – even at IBM.

3/26/2009 12:11:19 PM

Don’t Worry, Be Happy.


3/26/2009 9:21:16 PM

Edenger, unless he or she is one of the outsourced employees, would not be saying what he or she is saying if his or her job is sent overseas.

It seems like Edenger is one of those high level managers who also thinks he or she deserves a 6 figure or higher bonus.


3/26/2009 10:56:10 PM

Here is what we really need to do.Seriously!

Drive out the top 10% wealthiest from the US as we don’t really need them anyway. They are a huge financial liability and are way too entitled to be useful anymore.

There are plenty of highly qualified people who can take their place for a lot less money right here in the US.We’d save tons of money by getting rid of these overpriced and entitled execs and once again be competitive in the global markets.

Plus we wouldn’t have to uphold the infrastructure and services needed to pamper these entitled, which would free up money and resources for the rest of the people in the US.

For example, Boulder would have fewer over priced Fru-fru restaurants and overpriced luxury stores (on 29th St Mall for example) that only cater to a just a few of the entitled.

We’d be able to return to a US economy based on production of real goods and services and not an economy that is based on shifting money around for the entitled so they can pretend to have more wealth in their financial accounts.


3/26/2009 11:09:14 PM

IBM defined and pioneered many of the products now considered a commodity in the IT universe.You can ask us to blame ourselves as much as you want, but IBM doesn’t manufacture clock radios or ship peaches.IBM propped up the EMEA, Indian, and Latin American markets until they figured out how to compete against IBM with in-country organizations and pushed the empire-building IT mega-corp out the back door using a more innovative, simple, and nationalist business model.Whinging about an inability to compete against the companies you helped (indirectly) to create is weak tea.You reap what you sow… at the expense of American jobs.A reinvestment of 25% of the company’s annual profit in job-creating “on-shoring” of jobs farmed out across the planet would open the exact kind of opportunities needed in this market but what does IBM do?It seems like a convenient coincidence IBM announced this during a freak blizzard — synchronicity indeed as families find themselves out in the cold at the hand of Big Blue once again.


3/26/2009 11:10:34 PM

Why should we have to put up with outsourcing to India and China when these countries are doing very little to invest in their own people?

Yeah, it’s cheaper labor and that is the way the market goes, but there-in lies a deeper issue.

Supporting companies that outsource, i.e. buying their goods and services is allowing these international corporations and countries like China and India to continue along with cheap labor practices.

Both China and India both have populations (potential markets) that far outweigh the US population and market.It would seem that the wiser strategy for India and China would be to bolster the spending/marketing capacity of their own people instead of relying on the US market that is much smaller and lies on the other side of the planet.

One would conclude that international corporations and governments are purposefully manipulating the markets in order to maintain this wealth imbalance.

This market manipulation seems to go against free or open market principles and is just a set up for disaster.


3/27/2009 1:01:05 AM

I agree with BoulderBorn-the continued migration of US jobs overseas for bottom line profits is indeed traitorous. Giving up on America for Indians I can’t understand on the phone is frustrating, and ticks me off to no end. I’m really not sorry if I can’t understand their accent-if I do business with American companies, I expect to talk to an American when I have an issue! I look forward to the economy improving enough so Obama can follow through on his promise of taxing the h_ell out of the companies led by heartless bastards who are minimizing the American worker for foreign labor. The backlash needs to start somewhere, and that somewhere is right at the top of the executive branch. With that move, it is my hope that enough people will engage in boycotts of companies run by executives ruining this country in order to line their own pockets. Believe in America, and we will be great again.


3/27/2009 10:13:17 AM